Trent Robinson has responded to suggestions the Roosters are involved in the sexting scandal engulfing South Sydney.
The Rabbitohs are investigating allegations by a woman that a social media account owned by Sam Burgess was used to communicate lewd images to her in May.
And ahead of the NRL preliminary final between the rival clubs, wild speculation arose about the Roosters leaking the images to media outlets.
‘HURTS ME MOST’: Burgess reveals wife’s pain over sexting scandal
But Robinson emphatically denied the claims on Friday.
“If you want to shift blame to us, then you’ve got some issues. We haven’t been involved in this at all. People want to live their lives, and that’s fine. I’m not going to comment on that,” he said.
“That’s issues that are happening external to us. It’s got nothing to do with us.
“It’s sad if you want to deflect like that.”
‘Only half the story has been told’
Earlier this week, South Sydney coach Anthony Seibold said people will soon be able to make up their mind on the sexting scandal, claiming they had only heard one side of the story.
An emotional Burgess addressed the scandal on Tuesday, repeatedly saying he would be “happy for the truth to come out” without going into specifics.
Seibold echoed Burgess’ thoughts after saluting his team’s resilience for overcoming the off-field distraction in their dramatic 13-12 semi-final win over St George Illawarra.
The allegations were made public on the eve of the Rabbitohs’ clash with the Dragons, although the alleged incident occurred back in May.
“The public has only heard one side of the story,” Seibold told Sky Sports Radio.
“The investigation will hopefully conclude today or tomorrow and then people can make up their own mind on the story that has been out there.
“Obviously it wasn’t ideal having the club on the front page and being the lead story on most of the news agencies across the country on Friday and Saturday last week but I thought the guys showed a lot of resolve.”
NRL’s investigation hits a snag
Despite thoughts the saga would be wrapped up on Thursday or Friday, NRL boss Todd Greenberg has admitted the league wouldn’t be rushed into a decision.
According to multiple reports, Burgess is certain to line up for the Rabbitohs’ crunch clash with their arch rivals on Saturday night.
Greenberg added weight to those reports by insisting the governing body would take its time with its investigation, potentially saving the big Englishman a role in a Grand Final berth, if the Bunnies make it.
“No one wants to get it done quicker than I do. But what we want to do is get it right, and we want to make sure we’re dealing with all the people and that takes time,” Greenberg said.
“You can never control the timing, but you have to let the process run its course. We want to get it right.”
Following reports the 23-year-old woman at the centre of the scandal refused to be interviewed by investigators, Burgess’ case seems to be even stronger.
However Greenberg revealed the NRL will continue to investigate and interview a number of other parties.
“We will pursue a number of different people in the this process,” Greenberg said.
“I’m not prepared to talk about individuals who will be interviewed because it’s not fair to do that.”